Friday, April 13, 2007

Silversun Pickups’ Lazy Eye melts in my mouth

I like to ridicule those who describe art, wine, coffee, or music in arcane stretches of unimaginable imagery and allusion. As if one could write a metaphor for a taste. WTF do "smoked exotic sandalwoods" taste like anyway, and why would you want that in your wine? In truth, only they themselves can really get meaning out of their descriptions. Yet they insist on publishing them for all of us to read and feel intellectually and perceptually inadequate about. Assholes all of them.

But in this case, I’m the asshole because the words I'onna use to describe this song are as arcane as the best the Stone has to offer. But in this rare case, they are the only and the perfect ones to describe the feeling (and that’s exactly and all it is).

Butter. Smeared across hot raisin bread. The initial Smashing Pumpkins-knockoff riff just keeps ticking rhythmically along throughout the entire song, mostly just below the cloudcover, but at lucky moments popping up above so it can be noticed. Nice to know you can count on it to always be there no matter what else is going on. It’s so sweet. So simple. So innocent -- from way back in our boyhoods, but also from way back in rock history. Pre-teen and pre-Pumpkins in fact. The simplest rock, played by the truest garage bands. Old college bands like Ween and Breeders and the like. No engineering needed or allowed here. Yet they make that plasticy hollow cheap-amp guitar sound swing and nearly twang.

The rhythms are what makes it so young. The nervous energy of youth uncontainable despite it’s owner’s best efforts. Quick and repetitive and simple and feel-good and unabashedly obvious like a habitually bouncing knee under the dinner table. Ripped baggy jeans, skater shoes, ballcap, and a cracking voice when he ventures to open his unsure mouth. Careening through everything at top speed because he KNOWS that whatever comes next will be even cooler.

And then the song picks up and screams out, takes risks, and flourishes, just like the boy in those daring moments of blind courage in the face of fears and uncertainty. Drink what the senior hands you. Talk to that girl. Kiss her among your fumbles. Drive home drunk and get away with it. And then call your buddies the next day to talk about how you shouldn’t have gotten away with it. Those moments with friends which he will someday realize defined his personality for the rest of his life. The lyrics, in that Ween-dead-ringer voice, fit the metaphor “I’ve been waiting all my life…but it’s not quite right …I’ve been waiting for this silence all night long … it’s just a matter of time…”

Yet again resurfaces the nervous, repetitive rhythm which drives the song on steadily, which is your teenage life’s steady heartbeat through all the fits and starts, ups and downs, excitements and boredoms, adventures and mishaps, growths and losses, contests and comparisons. That repeating phrase “everyone is…” but am I ? Do I rate? What question could be more age-appropriate to ask? Do you suppose those Silversun dudes meant any of this? Whether they did or didn’t I’m sure they relate.

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